Sunday, 29 April 2012

Panel proposals, European Society for Translation Studies Congress, Germersheim, 2013

There is still time to submit panel proposals, aka thematic sessions, for the 2013 EST Congress. The Congress takes place every three years; the general topic of the 2013 congress is 'Translation Studies: Centres and Peripheries'. It will be held from 29-31 August, 2013 in Germersheim, Germany (part of the University of Mainz). From the conference website:
Each thematic session should include at least three speakers and will be presented and conducted by a session moderator (or two co-moderators). Each session should be dedicated to a clearly defined topic related to the general topic of the conference and structured around a pre-determined set of questions, formulated by the session moderator. The moderator will be responsible for specific publicity concerning the session, inviting papers, selecting presenters, and proposing the list of selected presenters and abstracts for approval by the Scientific Committee. To submit a panel proposal, the moderator does not have to be a member of the EST.

If you would like to moderate or co-moderate a specific thematic session, please use the form below to submit a short description of the proposed session, indicating the theme and some possible speakers. The proposal should be of at least 500 words with five keywords. (You might like to cut-and-paste from a Word document.)

The deadline for panel proposals is tomorrow (30 April). The open call for papers will follow and abstracts will be due in autumn 2012. Just to emphasise that you don't have to be an EST member to submit a panel proposal!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

2012 DGT competition for EN translators

I am happy to pass on the news from the European Commission Directorate-General for Translation that
the European Personnel Selection Office will launch a competition in July to recruit English-language translators for the European Union institutions. Applicants must be citizens of any EU Member State, have a bachelor's degree in any discipline and be able to translate from two EU official languages (one of which must be French or German) into native-speaker-standard English.
You can find out more by visiting the Translating for Europe page on Facebook.
You can also receive notification of the launch of the competition by joining the Facebook page called We are waiting for the 2012 EU English-language translation competition!
Good luck to any MATSnews readers who apply. :)

(A quick reminder as well that there are graduate translation internships available at the DGT. They run for 5 months from 1 March and 1 October each year. There is a short window for application twice a year. The next application cycle opens on 1 July and closes on 1 September.)

'Translating Science' lecture, Manchester, 14 May 2012

Circulated today, for readers within reach of Manchester:

Invitation to a public lecture

‘World Languages and the History of Science:
Past, Present and Future’

by Scott L. Montgomery,
University of Washington,

author of Science in Translation: Movements of Knowledge through Cultures and Time (Chicago University Press, 2000)

Monday 14 May, 16.00-17.30, Room A113, Samuel Alexander Building,
followed by a wine reception in the North Foyer, Samuel Alexander Building
All welcome, no registration necessary. See for a campus map. For more information about other Translating Science events see here.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation Scholarship, 2012-2013

Readers in the US may be interested to know of this funding opportunity:
In partnership with JTG, the American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation is offering a partial scholarship of $2,500 for the 2012-2013 academic year for students enrolled or planning to enroll in a degree program in scientific and technical translation or in interpreter training.

  1. Applicants must be graduate or undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll in a program leading to a degree in scientific and technical translation or in interpretation at an accredited U.S. college or university.
  2. Applicants must be full-time students who have completed at least one year of college or university studies.
  3. Generally, an applicant should present a minimum GPA of 3.00 overall and a 3.50 in translation- and interpretation-related courses.
  4. Applicants should have at least one year of study remaining in their program; however, in certain circumstances, one residual semester may be accepted.
  5. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. 
The application deadline is 8 June 2012. More information on the scholarship can be found at the AFTI's website. Details of other awards offered by the AFTI can also be found here.

Portsmouth conference news

Just a quick reminder to readers that the date for the 2012 Portsmouth Translation Conference has been changed by one week to Saturday 10 November 2012. The call for papers is open until 30 June. Please see the conference website for further details.

In further news, there are two other conferences coming up at Portsmouth which may be of interest.

'Language in the Real World: Theory, Practice, Pedagogy' will take place on 12 May 2012 at Park Building. The aim of this one-day conference, organised by colleagues in the 'Language Across Borders' research group, is to bring together academics and other professionals and provide them with a shared forum in which they can discuss, probe and/or challenge the relevance of Applied Linguistics, including language pedagogy, within and beyond the university context. The keynote speakers are Dr Almut Koester (University of Birmingham), author of Workplace Discourse (2010) and Investigating Workplace Discourse (2006), Dr Tim Grant of Aston University's Centre for Forensic Linguistics and the lexicographer Michael Rundell, editor-in-chief of Macmillan's language learners' dictionary series. The conference programme can be downloaded here.

Lastly, Portsmouth's Centre for European and International Studies Research is holding its Flagship Conference at the University of Portsmouth from 28-30 June 2012. The conference is entitled 

Towards a European Society? 
Transgressing Disciplinary Boundaries in European Studies Research

and is supported by UACES, the University Association for Contemporary European Studies. This event is a three-day international conference which will bring together academics and practitioners from a broad range of disciplines including sociology, politics/IR, history, linguistics and gender studies. Keynote speakers include: Professor Didier Georgakakis, University of Strasbourg, Professor Kiran Klaus Patel, University of Maastricht, Professor Thomas Risse, Free University of Berlin, Professor Martin Schain, New York University, Michael Shackleton, Head of the London European Parliament Office and Special Professor in European Institutions at the University of Maastricht, Dr. Nikolai Vukov, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Folklore Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. For the full programme and information on online registration please go to

Friday, 20 April 2012

DE-EN in-house posts: traineeship and senior translator

Osborne Translation Services in Sheffield are seeking an in-house translator from German to English for an extended traineeship to begin in summer 2012:
During the Trainee Programme, you will translate selected projects from a variety of business areas covering the whole range from marketing to technical manuals and software translation. You will be trained on various Translation Memory systems. In this period, you will receive coaching from highly experienced translators and support from the entire team. For graduates specialising in technical translation, this represents a great opportunity to gain experience in translating in a dynamic and “controlled” environment.
The role is initially be based at our office in the heart of Sheffield for a period of four months.
If this first stage is successfully completed to our full satisfaction, the trainee will advance to a second six-twelve month stage (depending on individual circumstances) involving greater responsibility, and including the option of gaining several months’ in-office training at beo in Stuttgart, Germany or at Matrix in Munich, Germany or any of their subsidiaries.
After completion of the traineeship, there are multiple full-time employment opportunities, depending on your fields of interest and skills
The deadline is 20 May 2012. More information can be downloaded here.

I see that OTS is also advertising an in-house position for a senior translator, also in German to English, specialising in business/finance or in automotive/engineering.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

2012 Harvill Secker translation prize: Chinese to English

The Harvill Secker Translation Prize organisers have announced the source text for their third annual competition: the short story 'The Wig' by the Chinese writer Han Dong. The text can be downloaded from the competition website.

This competition is distinctive in that it chooses a different source language each year (previously Spanish and Arabic) and provides a set text. The competition is for translation into English only, and  is open to young translators who are between 18 and 34 on the submission deadline of 27 July 2012.

The winning translator receives £1,000 and a selection of Harvill Secker titles. As part of a scheme supported by the British Centre for Literary Translation the winner will also be mentored by the distinguished translator Nicky Harman.

For information on other translation competitions out there, see this previous post. Translators of poetry into English may be particularly interested in the Times Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry Translation which closes on 1 June 2012.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Lectureships in modern languages and translation, University of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth is currently advertising two lectureships in modern languages and translation studies. One lectureship is in French and Spanish with Translation (with a slight emphasis on French) The other is in Mandarin Chinese with Translation. Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant field at or near completion. Appointees will be expected to teach, develop learning materials and conduct research in their area of specialisation. Teaching covers practical translation, principles and theories of translation and language teaching. For further information follow the links.

The deadline for applications is 27 April 2012.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

PhD scholarships in translation studies, Heriot-Watt University

Seen on the Translatio mailing list:

The School of Management & Languages at Heriot-Watt University is now inviting applications for full-time PhD scholarships in Languages and Intercultural Studies

The aims of the Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS) include the investigation of the processes and practices of translating and interpreting and the dissemination of research. The Studies in European and International Culture and Societies (SEICS) Group contributes to the study of societies, cultures, politics, languages and identities through a combination of disciplines, including literary, cultural, film and media studies, history, political science and sociolinguistics. We welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates in all relevant areas of study, but particularly in the areas of the translation of interactive textual features in expert-lay communication; self-life writing in translation; interpreter-mediated police interviews; the social impact of multimedia translation; culture, history and memory; and new speakers of minority languages.

Further Information

Successful students will commence in September 2012 and would be expected to make a contribution to teaching and teaching-related activities in the Department or, at the discretion of the Head of School, to support a Research Centre in return for a fee-waiver, a maintenance allowance of £13,590 per annum and a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study of three years. For those applicants who do not have an appropriate Masters qualification, it is possible to apply for a four year scholarship which includes an MRes degree.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via  For further information regarding supporting documentation and the application process please e-mail Caroline Murray (c.a.murray at

The closing date for applications is 30 April 2012.
More information at

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Literary translation workshops and summer schools, 2012

Lots of fun stuff on this summer in the way of hands-on translation workshops...

The British Centre for Literary Translation Summer School, now running for over a decade, takes place in Norwich from 22 to 27 July 2012 with a distinguished line-up of writers and translators. This year's language combinations are Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian and Spanish into English. (Alas, the announced English to Italian workshop seems not to be taking place this year.) Deadline for registration is 8 May.

The BCLT is also a partner in a new Arvon Foundation literary translation workshop which will run at Lumb Bank in Yorkshire from 27 August to 1 September 2012. Places by selection: submit one double-spaced page of translation and the same text in the original to lumbbank at by 29 June 2012.

There are fees for both of these events but some financial support may be available; see here for Arvon Foundation Grants and here for more information about travel grants, etc., for the BCLT Summer School. 

The BCLT is also running a literary translation workshop at the upcoming Translation Conference in Doha, Qatar from 29 April 2012.

In London, the Use your Language, Use your English summer school is taking place once again from 9 to 13 July 2012; see this previous post for more information. Source languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. There is also a workshop on editing.

The Use your Language, Use your English project also includes a free online translation component in seven language combinations (Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish into English, as well as editing). To register and gain access to the materials, email useyourcontact at

Lastly, for translators of German children's literature there is a really nice-looking workshop in September 2012 organised by the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur with the support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Funding is available to cover participation:

Bereits zum dritten Mal laden die Robert Bosch Stiftung und der Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur e.V. (AKJ) ins Hamburger Elsa-Brändström-Haus zu einer Übersetzerwerkstatt ein, die sich speziell der deutschsprachigen Kinder- und Jugendliteratur widmet.

Kinder- und Jugendliteratur öffnet die Tür in die Welt des Lesens und erweitert den Horizont der jungen Leser in kultureller und sprachlicher Hinsicht. In diesem Vermittlungsprozess über Sprachgrenzen hinweg kommt den Übersetzern eine wesentliche Rolle zu.

Daher bieten die Robert Bosch Stiftung und der AKJ 15 professionellen Übersetzern vom 16. bis 21. September 2012 die Möglichkeit, sich mit aktuellen Tendenzen der deutschsprachigen Kinder- und Jugendliteratur sowie spezifischen Übersetzungsproblemen des Genres auseinanderzusetzen.

Die Teilnehmer werden mit dem Übersetzer Tobias Scheffel konkret an Texten arbeiten, sie werden neben den Autoren Isabel Abedi und Andreas Steinhöfel auch Illustratoren, Lektoren und Kritiker kennenlernen und Informationen zu Fördermöglichkeiten und bestehenden Netzwerken für Übersetzer erhalten.

Bis zum 2. Mai 2012 können sich professionell arbeitende Übersetzer deutschsprachiger Kinder- und Jugendliteratur bewerben, die aus dem Deutschen in ihre jeweilige Muttersprache übersetzen. Die Werkstatt ist offen für Bewerber aller Sprachen. Übersetzer aus „kleinen“ Sprachen werden schwerpunktmäßig berücksichtigt. Die Teilnehmer erhalten einen Reisekostenzuschuss sowie Unterkunft im Doppelzimmer und Verpflegung für die Dauer der Werkstatt.

More information at

Friday, 6 April 2012

Who is Fred?? Film title translation mystery (and spoiler alert!)

It's the Easter weekend, so a little frivolity seems in order. I am inspired by my evening's DVD-watching to consider translated film titles (I know, I know, but I couldn't help myself).

First of all, a fairly run-of-the-mill example, encountered a few weeks ago, in the form of John Madden's underwhelming The Other Boleyn Girl, the second adaptation of Philippa Gregory's historical novel of the same name. Some readers may remember it; it features some pretty well-known stars:

The DVD I saw happened to be a French DVD, and I was somewhat struck by the title selected for the film's French release:

(I did say there would be a spoiler alert.)

Let me be clear, it's not that I'm complaining about the accuracy of the French title (which translates as 'Two Sisters for a King') in relation to the plot. I'm just a bit bemused by the decision to dispense with what little suspense there was in the English title (Which of the two sisters is, in fact, the Other Boleyn Girl?? Why is she interesting?? etc. etc.) in favour of neatly summarising the entire plot of the film in five words.

An even more puzzling example presented itself this evening. I'm on my traditional Easter trip to Italy, and on an Italian newsstand I happened to come across a subtitled DVD of Fritz Lang's 1941 Western Union. It's rousing, entertaining stuff - no Western cliché left unturned, and so on.

It even has Randolph Scott in it (Randolph Scott!! ):

The English title is beautifully functional. It's a Western called Western Union about the establishment, by Western Union, of a national telegraph cable Westwards from Omaha which will unify the western and eastern United States.

The Italian title is Fred il ribelle, or 'Fred the Rebel'.


Try as I may, I cannot identify any character called 'Fred' in the film. We have a Richard, a Vance, an Edward, a Sue, a Doc (of course), a Jack and a number of colourful minor characters. Not a Fred among them. Look, you can check for yourself. So where does Fred come into it? Since the film was almost certainly originally exhibited in Italy dubbed, rather than subtitled, could it be that one of the characters was originally called Fred in the dubbed version, and that this title 'stuck' even when the film was released in 'versione originale'? If so, which was Fred? Why Fred, and not Richard, Vance, Edward, Sue etc.? Depending on which character is supposed to be Fred, the film's plot may be signposted in various entertaining ways.

A laurel, and hearty handshake, to any reader who can shed light on this mystery.

And to all our readers, a very happy and restful Easter. 

[P.S. I would be delighted if anyone were moved to share other examples of oddly translated film titles in the comments...]

Apologies - writer-translator residencies in New York State amended post

To anyone puzzled by the formatting in my last post (now deleted) about the writer-translator residencies at Ledig House, apologies, and thanks to Jon for pointing it out! [Note to self: find a better way of retrieving text from pdf files.]

You can find more information on these residencies, which sound very fine, at

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Portsmouth translation conference 2012: DATE CHANGE

Dear all,

This is just to let you know that for reasons beyond our control, we have unfortunately had to amend the date of the twelfth annual Portsmouth translation conference, entitled 'Those Who Can, Teach: Translation, Interpreting and Training'. The conference will now take place in the same venue a week later on *Saturday 10 November* 2012. More information about the conference and the call for papers can be found at